Riparian Buffer Workshop held on D&URR

Arkville — Clear skies and comfortable temperatures made Saturday, July 31 a perfect day for a train ride. The Delaware and Ulster Railroad provided the venue for the First Annual Riparian Buffer Workshop hosted by the Catskill Streams Buffer Initiative (CSBI) of the Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District (DCSWCD). The program was held to identify and discuss various streamside land management practices along the East Branch of the Delaware River.

Before the train’s regularly scheduled 2:00 p.m. departure, 49 local landowners arrived at the Arkville train station for a brief introduction to the event by DCSWCD program staff and then boarded. On the northbound journey to Roxbury, Jennifer Grieser, NYCDEP CSBI Program Coordinator, and Catherine Skalda, Delaware County’s CSBI representative, described the importance and benefits of riparian buffers (i.e. streamside vegetation) while pointing out differing approaches to riparian management visible from the train.

Topics further included the impact of infrastructure on streams, the influence of neighboring riparian areas on properties upstream and downstream, and the importance of native plants in place of non-native species. Diane Galusha of the Catskill Watershed Corporation was onboard as well and gave a brief overview of the history of Halcottsville and Lake Wawaka.

On the return journey to Arkville, participants were able to view the riparian area and ask questions at their leisure while Graydon Dutcher, stream program manager of the DCSWCD, explained stream management and restoration techniques.

Delaware County’s CSBI plans to host similar workshops concerning riparian buffers and stream stewardship in the future. For more information on these events, or for questions regarding riparian management or opportunities offered by the CSBI for Delaware County landowners, please contact Catherine at 607 865-5223.